Film Festivals,  Film Reviews

Review: Cop Car



When I was a kid living on yet another military base with my family, my brother and I would pretend to look for treasure in the Yuma desert that was our backyard.  As kids we were always looking for what our next adventure would be.  On one day it would be a treasure hunt, the next,  it could be pretending to drive our own car with a license and everything!!!

As a matter of fact, my brother actually had that car moment and ran through the garage of one of our neighbors.  However, that’s another blog on another day…lol

Well, imagine if all that pretending turned into a reality when some kids find what they think is an abandoned cop car and go joy riding?  They soon discover their actions are full of consequences they never see coming which changes the trajectory of their lives and the lives of those they come in contact with throughout their adventure.

“Cop Car” director, Jon Watts explains that this taut thriller originally sprouted roots as a recurring stress dream from childhood, “I’m with my friend and we’re in my mom’s car, driving around town.  I’m in the passengers seat and he’s driving, going faster and faster, and we’re passing by people but no one’s stopping us, and I’m getting more and more freaked out. And then I wake up…

I was wide awake for the ride and loved every single moment!  Mostly, because it made me nostalgic of days long gone by back in Yuma and St. Louis, where my brother and I grew up and nourished our over-active imaginations.

The key successful element for this feature is having the right kids in the leading roles, since they carry the majority of the film.  After an extensive nationwide search, Watts casts James Freedson-Jackson (Travis) and Hays Wellford (Harrison), who are equally “crushing it” and give the adults a run for their money. They’re like all four of the boys from “Stand By Me”, but younger and fiercer!!!


Emmy-winner Camyrn Manheim makes a small, but brief appearance, which in my opinion was a waste of her talent.  Don’t get me wrong…I love me some Miss Camyrn, but felt like her talent wasn’t really utilized in this particular role as the small town lady who peeps the kids driving the cop car, reports it and lives to regret the moment she ever saw them.

Shea Whigham (Man) is hilariously frightening during his brief, but impactful appearance on-screen. Last, but not least is Executive Producer and star – Kevin Bacon.

Kevin Bacon mixes comedy with crazy and creepy better than anyone I have ever seen on-screen, all of which are necessary to make Sheriff Kretzer work on every level.  My favorite moments are those when Kretzer relies on his charming craftiness to throw everyone at the precinct off, while plotting to get his cop car back in his possession.  I love Bacon in these type of roles, as it gently reminds us that we need to see him on screen waaaaay more often kicking character role booty.


“Cop Car” is a thrilling ride from the first frame to the last without a weak link in the bunch.  Catch it while you can when it screeches into a theater near you on August 7th.

I love, love love movies, watching them and discussing them...thus the birth of The Curvy Film Critic!!! Host/Producer/FilmCritic-Expert, I am a member of such esteemed organizations as Critics Choice Association, African American Film Critics Association, Online Association of Female Film Critics and Alliance of Women Film Journalists. My op-eds or features have been seen in VARIETY,, Maltin on Movies, as well as being a frequent Guest Contributor to Fox 11-LA, NPR, Good Day LA, Turner Classic Movies, KCRW Press Play with Madeline Brand and Cherry Picks. Catch my reviews on The Curvy Critic with Carla Renata - LIVE!!! Mondays 5pm PST via You Tube or Facebook Live. If you like what you read please shout me out and subscribe to The Curvy Critic on YouTube. You can chat with me across all social media platforms @TheCurvyCritic and as always, thanks for supporting a sista'

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